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Sin in Space

Sin in Space
Asteroid Band

Whether I was falling asleep or waking up, there they were floating in my subconscious, looping over and over in my head, and each time I would recognize them as Sin in Space songs. Sin in Space exudes a stellar outer-space vibe, with lyrics spinning with intergalactic references, and yet the Santa Cruz band manages to bring the whole package together without a trace of gimmickry. Case in point: "There were flying saucers above my bed last night/and we were all friends again/Skies of green and lawns of blue/Last night, drinks were cheap, and Elvis wasn't dead" ("Satellite"). Though it clocks in at just over one minute, the acoustic title track ("All the smiles were prescription and the laughter was canned/... All the air was conditioned and the walls painted bland") boasts insightful and beautiful wordplay. Filtering through the music are enigmatic poetry and elements of danger, and though it sounds as though Sin in Space was weaned on the sounds of Frank Black and the Pixies, the band leaves its own mark on its catchy, refreshingly unusual material. (Sarah Quelland)

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter
Columbia Records

The full title of the album is Time is the great gift; sex is the great equalizer; love is the great mystery, and it sums up the themes found in Carpenter's long-awaited new album. The first single, "Simple Life," is a prime example of the direction this Grammy Award-winning artist has taken with a mature, pop-driven style and lyrics full of wisdom that explore growing older. Haunting, evocative and introspective, with stellar songwriting and more consistently serious undertones than some previous albums, Carpenter delves into life's deep subject matter. Her smart way with words and the real-woman personality she invests in her lyrics make Carpenter's songs extremely striking. "The Long Way Home" is the one fun track that reveals her often cynical sense of humor as she paints the picture of a yuppie dream ("You could be this man, he's got it all worked out/to the nth degree, no fears no doubts/He'll retire at thirty to his big-ass house next to the putting green") before encouraging listeners to "tell your kid a story, hold your lover tight/ Make a joyful noise, swim naked at night/Read a poem a day, call in well sometimes and laugh when they believe it." (SQ)

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From the July 26-August 1, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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